I HAVE AN ETERNITY AHEAD OF ME
Chapter 8, DRIVEN Part 2
SEEING YOU AS GOD SEES YOU
My Brothers and Sisters,
We all have our own perspective of who we are and how we view ourselves in the scheme of things. We have established our own opinions and persona and the people around us pretty much know what to expect from us. We’ve developed distinct tastes and preferences in food, clothing, music and movie genres. We’ve claimed our teams to cheer for and become loyal fans of something or someone. We’ve decided if we’re morning people or night owls, movers and shakers in the world, or if we prefer following the crowd. All-in-all, because we’ve lived with ourselves, we are pretty sure about who we are.
But, wait! I’ve been Reborn! I have a New Life! I am One with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! I’VE CHANGED! WHO AM I? Do you know who YOU are now? –A Child of God? Be more specific. Who are you now that you are no longer ALONE?
Does anyone ever walk around openly acknowledging they are not ALONE, like Jesus did? Hmmm, I think that would probably get us a real quick ride to a psychiatric facility! Usually, we leave it all up to God to acknowledge our presence and continue behaving like a party of one–solo –numero uno. Perhaps, that is why it is difficult for many to function as One with the Father and Son. Many contemporary societies frown upon people openly acknowledging and displaying the spiritual side of our existence.
Moving past the accepted norms within society, as they pertain to our faith, can be a difficult hurdle to jump and clear, because of the way we see ourselves within society, relationships and life. This chapter might be difficult for a lot of Believers to apply to their lives, because, it involves moving past how we see ourselves, especially in our relationships, to seeing ourselves as God sees us and living and acting as One.
As our Father, God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our strengths and He knows our faults, but, still loves us unconditionally. He knows our beginning and what we can become. If you will allow yourself to see through God’s eyes, you can discover a better way to love the new you and tap into the power and energy of the Kingdom. You will discover your true heart and find areas where you need to learn to love like Jesus, free of hatred, bitterness, selfishness and those feelings and memories preventing you from growing and living abundantly, and abiding in Him. We want to become like Jesus so that our Father will look at us and also be well-pleased.
I remember that there were times in my life, when my mother became extremely disappointed in me. Now, I am able to identify with those feelings with my own children. However, upon weighing the times when my mother expressed her extreme disappointment and displeasure in me and my behavior, against the times when she expressed extreme satisfaction and pleasure in my behavior, I found an imbalance of sorts, where her consistent disapproval greatly influenced the development of my character in ways that contributed to establishing and embedding some major character flaws.
I am happy that God has pointed these things out to me, because, as a parent, I have caught myself struggling internally with similar feelings of disappointment, when my children weren’t behaving as I would have liked them to behave. This led me to also weigh the amount of times I have expressed approval to the times I have expressed extreme disapproval in their actions and/or behaviour. Then, I began to look at the notable change when I have humbled myself, abided in Jesus and allowed God to change me and look through His eyes. Yes, there is a remarkable and noticeable difference.
I had to ask myself, “What message am I conveying to my children and to others in regard to my love for them? From my actions, words and tone of voice, can they perceive and feel my love for them? Am I distinguishing between my feelings for them and my feelings toward their behavior?
Are my responses and reactions appropriate and given in love with respect for their feelings, also? Am I responding with intention to edify and bring others closer to follow Jesus? Or, have I blurred the lines, causing them to become confused, conflicted, opposed to and in total disagreement to my reactions and responses to their behavior?
Have I led them to misconstrue my words and intentions to mean that I am totally displeased and do not care for them as a person, at all? Do they see me as tolerating them? Sometimes, knowing that someone is simply tolerating you can be just as painful as being completely ignored.
How much does it matter that I separate the person from the behavior? How much will it help me to love UNCONDITIONALLY and help others to SEE JESUS in me and want to FOLLOW?
What I say and do in my relationship with others must reflect this thought, because I am One with The Father, Son, Holy Spirit and the Body of Christ. How I relate to others must prove that I am a FOLLOWER of Jesus and acting as His Ambassador. Therefore, I must walk and talk in love.
However, if the heart of the recipient of your words and actions is not One with God’s Holy Spirit, or should their heart be hardened against you, will it still matter how you speak, what you do, or how you feel about them? YES! It is why Jesus died for all of us, to SEPARATE us from our sins, so that we could be restored to our Father and have a relationship with Him. We must learn to SEPARATE the person from the darkness and death that has fallen upon them and to love them, unconditionally!
Our relationship with them, begins the separation process. They must feel TOUCHED by Jesus! If all a person can feel from you is your disappointment in what they do and how they live, the scales will never fall from their eyes to see the love of Christ. They will feel that you have passed judgment upon them, resulting in guilt, shame, resentment, rebellion, etc. It prevents you from forming a relationship with them and it may drive them deeper into sin and bondage, create new bondage, or drive them farther away from God, Jesus, and abundant and eternal life in the Kingdom,
Relationships matter and how you go about forming them can matter even more. Whether the relationship be with your children, spouse, family, friends, coworkers, etc., there is ACCOUNTABILITY involved. You are accountable to those joined as One and accountable to the Kingdom of God.
God knows that there will be: problems in your marriage; conflicts between you and your parent(s) or guardian; ongoing personality conflicts and rivalry at work; misunderstandings between friends; jealousy and status seeking at church, and so on.
There is continual spiritual war going on! Wherein, if we see our relationships as the battlefield, we have already lost, for we are trying to war against flesh, in the flesh. This is an extremely important point I need to take time to meditate upon and store within my heart. Feel free to join me in doing so.
Looking at ourselves through God’s eyes, we are able to ascertain what is preventing our being able to get through to another person and determine that it is not because of our inability to out-talk or out-think them, but our inability to SEPARATE them from their sin, beliefs or ideology, along with our inability to separate ourselves from ours. We can be so blinded by what is in our heart that we’re hindered from seeing Truth. We can be hindered in correctly processing what we’re seeing and hearing from people and unable to understand WHAT they’re FEELING and WHY they feel what they feel. More than often, it’s not so much what a person says, but, what they feel inside, which causes them to do what they do and say what they say. We need to understand that they too had a beginning and try to find out what caused the lesions and the scars. Perhaps, we’ve reopened an old wound. Can we lead them to the HEALER who takes all tears and pain away?
So, perhaps you have a stressful, precarious or strained relationship and sometimes, things can get a little tense, while at other times everything just falls apart. Let’s just examine a few aspects of it and possible scenarios.
The two of you have an argument:
Why do you feel compelled to win the argument or get in the last word? What are you FEELING? Is it that throughout your life nobody really listened to you? Do you feel you have to SHOUT to be heard? Do you have so many unfulfilled desires and dreams that you talk a lot to drown out the sound of emptiness and unfulfillment? Is it that you can’t express what you really want to say? Does fear or being hard-hearted have you bound–that is–in bondage? Do you feel you can’t relate to people like you want to or should, because you really don’t like how they are or how they think, or what they’ve done to you or someone else?
No one has to be a Psychologist, Psychiatrist or Behavioral Therapist to understand pain and frustration! Yet, when you hear it and when you see it, know that you are accountable to shine the Light of Jesus in love. He is inside of you, waiting to help you break through the darkness.
So, what do you do when you come into contact with your enemy or that person who always wants to argue or out-talk you and you can’t get a word in edge-wise? How can you have a relationship with them?
RELATING TO OTHERS THROUGH GOD
The problem we all run into at one time or another is trying to relate to someone who in their present state, lacks the capacity to equally share in a relationship or treat others as they would have others treat them. They have set up walls and boundaries that require any relationship to be on their terms, which can make it hard for others to get along with them.
We on the other hand may have our own litmus test to which we put others under in order to weed out undesirable relationships and situations.
Some people may be plagued or haunted by bad experiences from their past, which they pass on to others in the form of precautions, prejudice, prejudgements and penalties.
After having made your own assessment, you may feel that you are left with only a few choices: avoid the person completely; limit contact and what you say to them; or just bite your tongue and go along with whatever they say. However, ALL three choices do nothing to remedy or improve the situation and reveal Truth; and only serve to further encourage or aid in self-destruction and breaking down the relationship; for both parties will be subject to becoming or continuing to be trapped in darkness and bondage. In any event, most likely, the only thing that each individual can agree upon is a mutual feeling that there is nothing that can be done to help the other person, for they would probably reject their opinion and advice.
To engage in what resembles a contractual relationship with someone, whereby you can only associate under their terms would be unhealthy for BOTH of you and lacks the mutual accountability that defines a true relationship. Without being able to agree on common ground, how do you show your accountability as your brother’s keeper and try to establish a healthy relationship? It depends upon the Will of God and your ability to ACCEPT HIS WILL.
Yes, you are your brother’s keeper, but you are no longer ALONE. You have been acting on the premise that YOU ALONE must make the decision, but as ONE, you are abiding in TRUTH. You must be true to God and yourself. Continuing in an unhealthy relationship is not TRUTH! Changes, which most likely will be painful, will have to be made.
You have viewed the situation and relationship as a no-win type of situation, however, you are supposed to be abiding in a God who NEVER FAILS! Your idea of VICTORY may not be the same as GOD’S truth in victory. You have been seeing the other person as having the problem, but the very fact that you recognize a dilemma between the two of you proves that it takes “two” people to establish what is perceived as irreconcilable differences. You have perceived and established yourself as being right, which sets up contrasting circumstances that have created a problem in the relationship.
To be ACCOUNTABLE, you must INCLUDE GOD! He also has a say in the relationship and He has a workable solution, which requires change on both sides. However in this instance you cannot FORCE the other person to be accountable, so, you must decide, how much are you willing to change or sacrifice for the sake of others? Are you willing to FOLLOW JESUS and bear your cross? Then, you can’t always have things YOUR WAY if you are going to OBEY God and show Him how much you love HIM.
Your problematic relationship has evolved from fleshly feelings. You have been trying to have a relationship based on the ways of the world, which made it inevitably doomed because it was not connected with Truth. Therefore, the enemy was able to taint communication and interaction with the bitter taste of judgment, animosity, past failures and offenses, and anything darkness could dredge up from hurt, self-righteous, and unforgiving, hardened hearts.
God is seeing you differently than you see yourself because He dwells WITHIN YOU. HE sees not only who you are now, but, who you can become in HIM. IF you were abiding in HIM, YOU could see what you can become IN HIM!
So far, we know that through our new birth we must look at our life as it is being shared with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, along with our role as an important member of the Body of Christ. We must see ourselves as being part of an ongoing relationship, under the Mind of Christ, who seeks out other relationships.
Due to our union with God, through God’s eyes, we can see our potential as to what we are capable of doing through Him. Therefore, all things are possible. Because, He knows our heart, He knows what adjustments are necessary in our relationships. He is waiting for us to surrender our will and trust Him.
Our relationships must reflect our union as One. Therefore, we must walk always in Truth by FAITH and not by SIGHT. IT IS ACCEPTABLE to acknowledge that you are not ALONE! Hence, we can already verify that our unhealthy relationship does not line up with the Word of God and will affect our accountability to the other members of the Body and to Jesus and God.
If we wish to continue in the relationship, we must surrender to the Will and Way of God and release the Truth, Power and Character of God into the relationship, in order for us to produce good fruit.
So, what is God’s Will for this relationship and will one or both parties follow God’s Way? We will begin to explore this in our next chapter.
Peace be with you Brethren!
your loving servant, united with the One